Fairy tale art

I’m currently trying to build up a bit of digital art portfolio that can better represent what I can do, art-wise. That meant also doing art at a very high resolution. It wasn’t as easy as doing stuff real small. I really have to be careful with the lines I draw because I’m drawing them zoomed out and mistakes aren’t as easily visible. I only find out about these mistakes when I zoom in to look up close.

As subjects for these newer pieces, I followed Raquel’s suggestion of using characters for fairy tales. First one was Rapunzel and the latest one is Tinkerbell from the Peter Pan story. These two pieces were coloured and “inked” differently but that’s probably not too noticeable when zoomed out. I’m still experimenting with the colouring and I feel like I’m close to getting to a method I’ll be satisfied with.



Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 12:18 am  Comments (4)  

My new Bamboo Fun is fun

For my advanced birthday gift, Raquel gave me a brand new spiffy Wacom tablet called Bamboo Fun to replace my old Wacom Graphire4 tablet.

The Bamboo Fun model actually replaced the Graphire4 model in Wacom’s line-up of tablets. It is aimed primarily at amateur/hobbyist digital artists who would want to have a decent enough tablet but don’t want to spend a fortune on the high-end models such as the Intuos or the Cintiq which sells from $600 up. The Bamboo Fun model I got is the medium-sized one and sold for about $299.

The new tablet is essentially the same as my old tablet except for the following advantages:
– It also came with a wireless mouse that uses the same tablet technology as the pen stylus.
– The drawing surface is wide which proportionally matches my laptop’s wide screen. Meaning, no wasted tablet space.
– Using the pen on the tablet surface feels like pencil on paper unlike the older one which felt like ballpoint pen on glass.
– It has two more buttons I could assign functions to.
– It’s thinner and therefore more portable. I could place this side-by-side my folded laptop and have both fit in my small laptop case. I could also unplug the cord from the tablet itself. The older one is wider, thicker and you can’t detach the cord so you have to wrap it around the tablet if you decide to take it somewhere.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I love the new tablet. I was first taken aback by the pencil-on-paper surface texture when using it because it meant I have to be more forceful with my strokes. With the older tablet, my strokes just glide off the glassy tablet surface. With the new tablet, my lighter strokes trasnlated to more crooked lines and very light lines. But now that I’m used to the new one, I find it’s no longer a problem.

Actually, I got the gift a few days ago so I was able to use it already to draw some of the stuff I’ve posted on the blog such as the Little Drummer Boy and Tomas and Nilo.

Apart from these two, here are a couple more stuff I drew with the new tablet (click on the thumbnails to enlarge):

The first piece was originally just a sketch I did as part of my daily doodling exercise.The original sketch had incorrect facial proportions on it and I knew it. But, I wanted a sketch I could practice some colouring on so I used it anyway.

After doing a quick colour experiment, I was a little satisfied with the result so I copied the whole thing from Painter to Photoshop and proceeded to distort the image to make the proportions look more or less correct. At the very least, it now looks better than before I altered it.

As for the colouring, I’m trying out something that I can do real quick but remain pleasant to look at in the end. This was more free form and it was a lot quicker to do compared to my other method which involved a lot of cleaning up and precision.

The second piece, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, was something I did for another Christmas-themed art contest at the DeviantArt art community called ‘Tis the Season for Illustration Contest. The rules state that we should draw a Christmas-themed scene from a book or film.

I did this on the day of the deadline so I had to draw something quick and finish it quickly. The only thing I could think of drawing was the Grinch. Since I’m basing it off the movie instead of the book, I sort of used the Jim Carrey Grinch as reference instead of the Dr Seuss book Grinch or the Grinch from the cartoons. It was rushed but I hope I win anyway since all the other submissions weren’t all that flash.

Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 12:05 am  Comments (2)  

Little Drummer Boy

I wanted to join the DeviantArt Christmas Carol Contest. So for my art exercise (I’m dropping the “daily 30 drawing” label, by the way, since it is not daily and it won’t always be a drawing), I drew something that maybe I can use for the contest.

Here is a summary of the rules as taken from the contest’s page:

Think of your absolute favorite Christmas Carol. Now illustrate it in the anime/manga style! All medias are welcome~

The only thing I can come up with in a short amount of time was The Little Drummer Boy. Well, I had been meaning to draw the boy a few weeks back so I already had a little idea on how I wanted to proceed. However, since I only have 30 minutes to finish this (less the planning part), I only had time to draw both baby Jesus and the drummer boy. No time to put in colour and still make it look good.

This is isn’t the final form that I will submit for the contest, but I will use this as basis for the actual submission a bit later though.

EDIT 23/12/07: Here is the coloured version if you are interested.

Published in: on December 21, 2007 at 11:24 pm  Comments (2)  

Tomas and Nilo

As part of my so-called 30-minute daily drawing exercise (which I shorten to Daily 30), I drew this quick sketch of two characters in a story I wrote for a short comic story for a comic book anthology. I was supposed to be the writer while my brother is the artist of the story. However, he is currently very busy with his work that he couldn’t draw much of anything for this project.

So, to sort of help my brother out when he finally gets a chance to draw stuff for our story, I will draw some sketches related to my story myself. At the very least, my drawings might help better communicate the scenes I want in the story to my brother.

As for my Daily 30 exercise, maybe “daily” is a bit too much after all. I’ve already skipped a day since I decided to start doing this because of other more important things I needed to do yesterday evening. Now, instead of daily, it’s down to three times a week. I’ll still be calling it Daily 30 though. Much shorter name.

Published in: on December 20, 2007 at 11:05 pm  Comments (2)  

Daily 30-minute drawings

I started drawing the Lovarian Adventures webcomics back in 2001 to keep myself from getting bored and lonely. I started drawing three full comic pages per week at the start but eventually slowed down to drawing one page per week by the time I stopped drawing comics altogether.

Still, over the five or so years I’ve been drawing the comics, the best thing I’ve gained from it was that doing it had improved my artwork considerably. It probably stemmed from my being forced to draw on a regular basis to keep up with my self-imposed page update schedule.

However, now that I haven’t been drawing comics in a while, I’m afraid that my skill would just continue to stagnate if I don’t practice. So, I decided to do something about it starting yesterday.

I know I probably don’t have the time nor the will to start doing webcomics again at this point in time so that’s out of the question. I needed to do something that I can stick to. It has to be fairly regular and doesn’t take too long to do.

What I eventually came up with was that I should draw something with the intention to post it on my DeviantArt gallery everyday (except weekends and holidays) that will only take a maximum of 30 minutes to draw. Mainly, it should look more finished that the typical doodles I draw in my drawing books. I should add colour to it if there’s time.

I’m hoping that by doing this daily exercise, I’m giving myself a chance not only to improve but to experiment a little. I’m also hoping that in a few weeks’ time, I’d be drawing faster and better than now.

Lastly, I also hope that I can keep on doing this self-imposed exercise.

Click on the thumbnail above to zoom in on my first drawing in this series of exercises.

Published in: on December 18, 2007 at 11:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Vintage Christmas art contest

You may be wondering why there hasn’t been any new posts in this blog for several days now. Well, I’m very busy with work during the day and I’m also very busy doing extra-curricular activities at night.

At first, my nightly activities mainly involved playing my newly bought Orange Box game from Valve (the creators of Half-Life 2 and Counterstrike). Actually, it’s not just one game but five games in one box: the original Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2. I actually already finished the original Half-Life 2 a while back so I didn’t need to play that again. I’ve been mostly addicted to playing Portal and Team Fortress 2. I have yet to play through Episode One and I still feel that I have already got the $50 worth I paid to buy the Orange Box online.

Anyway, later on, I decided to stop playing so that I can do some bit of artwork. I wanted to draw something Christmas-related. I have two reasons for wanting to draw this but I can only give you one right now.

There is a Christmas-theme contest currently going on at DeviantArt (the online art community I’m part of). The theme is “Vintage Christmas”. Here is a short description of the contest from the contest organiser: misskittyoooo.

Something that is Vintage is “Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.”. So for this contest you are to create an old, classic style Christmas postcard that is brimming with holiday spirit! This is not a contest for a grinch or a scrooge, this is a contest for those true young at heart that is filled with the holiday spirit, and keeps it all the year! This is a contest for people who love the rosy cheeked santas, ribbons and candles on Christmas trees.

With that, here is my entry for the contest:

I have no illusions of winning this one but I am hoping that this would get me a bit of exposure in the community. As for the second purpose of this art project, I’ll reveal that later.

Published in: on December 8, 2007 at 10:27 pm  Comments (6)  

Art meme

In the art community of DeviantArt, there is a popular art meme going around and for good reason. It is very fun to fill out. But being an art meme, there is a lot of drawing involved in answering it.

Below is my answer to the art meme, created by Nyu of DeviantArt. It is shrunk to fit in the blog though so some of my smaller writings may not be readable. To view it in its original view, click on the image below to go to my DeviantArt gallery where the full size version is. If you load that page and the image is still small, click on the Full View link on the left or the small image to enlarge it.

Click to open in DeviantArt then click on small image to enlarge

Whew. Took me a couple of hours over a few nights to finish this. I’m glad it’s finally done.

Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

Religious art

I started to draw when I was quite young. Some would say I was artistically-inclined. I believed even then that God had given me these skills for a reason and I felt that the very least I can do is to create art that could help strengthen and renew people’s faith in God. So, while I was still studying in a Catholic school, I volunteered to be one of the school-boy artists for our school’s parish church.

Our chruch had three main entrances and, if I recall correctly, there were at least two entrances with a big blackboard beside the entrance. Our job as volunteer church artists was to draw a biblical scene based on a relevant Bible verse for that week’s mass. We would letter the actual verse on one half of the board and draw the matching scene on the other half of the board using coloured chalk. We took turns at who gets to draw and letter on which board. I had to stay later after school to do this but I didn’t mind one bit. I believed that I was using my God-given artistic gift to good use and it felt good.

Studying in a Catholic school meant we have Religion classes. I didn’t mind. I liked the stories and the lessons I learnt during these classes. The other thing I like about these classes were the textbooks. They were very colourful and it had lots of art in it drawn in a particular style that I really liked. The style used was well suited for those Religion books, I thought. I even imitated the style when I drew on the Chruch boards.

Now that I’m grown up, I still feel that God is calling me to make religious-themed art. That’s why I had drawn a few artworks a few years ago that is related to the Passion of Christ. Sad to say, I haven’t drawn anything similar since.

After winning the Artist of the Year prize in our Company’s art competition, I start to feel God’s call again. And so, here I am again.

I already started to draw my version of The Annunciation thinking that it may be appropriate for this coming Christmas season. After thinking about it some more though, maybe a Holy Family portrait or scene in the manger work would be more appropriate. So I’m putting the Annunciation work on hold for now.

Coming back to the art style in those old Religion books, I was thinking that maybe I can imitate the style again for the thing I’m planning to draw for Christmas. However, I don’t have access to those very old textbooks so I have to rely on memory alone. Before anything else, I first wanted to try if I can pull of the style or at least come up with a style that has a similar feel to it. So, I drew this piece: The Tax Collector.

I originally drew this with a ballpoint pen on my notebook at work as a doodle to help me clear my mind during the large amount testing that needed to be done with the system. When I got home, I took a webcam photo of it then inked it in Painter IX.

The art style of those textbooks had strong lines, a bit angular and the people always faced straight towards the reader even when looking to the side (the artist just tilts the head and points the eyes in the direction of what the character is looking at).

Now that it’s done, I think it came out well. I’ll probably do some more trials before actually starting on the real piece I want to draw.

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Digital Paintings

I’ve been doing a lot of art stuff with my tablet and Painter IX lately (and consequently, not a lot of writing). I’m still inspired by the digital fantasy art magazines I’ve been reading lately. Made me think, “yeah! I can do that, too!”

Here are a couple of pics I’ve worked on over the past few days. Although I feel like my art skills are improving, I think I still have a lot of things to work on before I can consider myself ready for commissions.

Lili in Voyager uniform
This was originally based off a very old sketch I have in my old drawing book. I thought the sketch looked good so I scanned it in and added a bit of colour using Painter IX.

Lili d’Quellara is one of the female lead characters in a fantasy webcomic I used to make, Lovarian Adventures. To make it a little bit more interesting for me, I decided to make her wear a science officer’s uniform as seen on Star Trek Voyager, one of my favourite Star Trek incarnations.

Me in Atlantis uniform
I decided I need to change the small 50×50 pixels avatar I use on my online art gallery at DeviantArt as it is getting a bit old. That and the avatar I was using was actually a drawing I made of Fr Sephriel, a character from my old fantasy webcomic, Lovarian Adventures. I also want to have my avatar in colour this time, as opposed to black & white.

While doing the face, I decided to draw part of the body as well. Having just finished the Lili pic above, I thought that maybe I can put myself in another sci-fi show’s uniform. And so, I drew myself wearing the uniform worn by the science people in Stargate Atlantis.

For those of you who know me well, you may notice that I don’t look exactly like this but I hope the resemblance is close enough.

Published in: on November 8, 2007 at 12:18 am  Comments (7)  

Happy Halloween

I wanted to draw something for this year’s Halloween but I waited too long to start. All I was able to do is digitally paint a Jack-o-lantern and add the words “Happy Halloween” on top of it. I still have plans to finish it though.

Anyway, Happy Halloween to those who celebrate this day.

I was able to finish it just now. Hope you guys like it.

Click here to see the unfinished image

Published in: on October 31, 2007 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment